By Maggie Vancampen —

A recent press release said hepatitis C is now predominately affecting millennials according to research conducted at Norton Healthcare.

Professor of Pediatrics Dr. John Myers and his team tested over 82 thousand people for the HCV infection from 2016-2018. For research purposes, millennials are defined as anyone born between 1980 to 1995. Baby boomers were described as people born between 1945 to 1965.

The Center for Disease Control says hepatitis C is a long-term liver infection. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B have vaccines, while hepatitis C does not. It is spread through blood from an infected person going into an un-infected person.

The press release said HCV-positive millennials increased by 53 percent during the study period, while HCV-positive baby boomers decreased by 32 percent in the Appalachian region where the study happened.

Myers said, “The opioid crisis has led to a drastic demographic shift, and currently the typical HCV-infected individual is a younger male. Without interventions, this trend will continue for upwards of seven years, plateauing near the demarcation of millennials and generation Z.”

The press release said Myers originally presented the information at IDWeek 2019, a medical meeting for doctors to present information and research findings.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal